Winnipeg Jets (12-12-4) at New York Rangers (14-13-0)
6:00 p.m., Madison Square Garden TV: TSNJets, MSG Radio: TSN 1290,
The Winnipeg Jets and New York Rangers meet Monday evening for the first time since they began playing in different conferences. In the brief time when the teams played often as members of the East, the rivalry has been dominated by the Rangers. Winnipeg has had trouble getting the puck past Henrik Lundqvist while the Rangers have had no trouble putting numbers up on the board. None the less the games have been competitive and fun to watch. This season these two teams are sitting with identical point totals, although those totals have very different meanings depending on the conference you are in. Jets and Rangers, in the Garden Monday, time for hockey.
The Rangers have been a hard team to predict so far this year, at times they look like they could be contenders in the East and at other times it looks like they will be hard pressed to make the playoffs. The key for the Rangers is the play of their stars. Henrik Lundqvist, one of the best of his era who still plays very well most nights, as well as the recently returned Rick Nash. Nash, who missed 17 games with injury, is finally coming back and looking like he is coming into mid season form. Nash is a player with size and a tremendous amount of skill, when he is going and playing well there are not many players who can stay with him and keep him in check. The Rangers need Nash to be their best player and to produce on a game by game basis. As of now, through 27 games, there are no Rangers with 20 points. The Rangers need some one to step up and lead them offensivly if they want to make this season successful.
After winning the first 2 games of their road trip the Jets came out Friday morning and played an absolute stinker. The Jets dropped a 2-1 decision to the Philadelphia Flyers in a game where the Flyers had more offensive chances on the penalty kill than the Jets had all day. Winnipeg just did not come to play Friday, shown by the pathetic 2 shots on goal in the first period, and although they only lost by one, they were lucky to be in the game. Another shot the Jets took Friday was an apparent lower body injury suffered by Evander Kane. Kane left the game in the second period and did not return, he is now questionable for Mondays game. The loss of Kane is huge for the Jets as he provides speed, toughness, and a legitimate offensive threat when he gets the puck. Winnipeg needs to pick it up to salvage a successful road trip, and they are more than capable if they play their game.
Bounce back: Terrible showing Friday, play better Monday, plain and simple.
Neutralize the stars: Create chaos and bother Henrik Lundqvist, as well as shut down Rick Nash. Much easier said than done.
Discipline: The Rangers struggle to score, but do have plenty of skill. Do not give them chances with the extra man or they will make you pay..
Ondrej Pavelec (9-10-3) GAA: 2.69 SV% .916
Henrik Lundqvist (8-11-0) GAA: 2.51 SV% .917
Slater WPG, (Sports Hernia) out
Postma WPG, (blood clot) out
Bogosian WPG, (lower body injury) out
Kane WPG, (lower body injury) day-to-day
Jets play a great road game, big 2 points
Jets 4 Rangers 1
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